Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Morning without My Daughter

Looking back, Christmas this year didn’t turn out too bad. Divorce is a terrible thing, but it has its benefits…I guess. Hannah spent Christmas Eve and morning with her dad, Tia, Tio and Abuelos, opening gifts there. Then Christmas afternoon, she came to open gifts with me and my mom. She was already excited from her first Christmas.

Christmas morning I just kept myself busy being productive. I hung Hannah’s 5-yr-old pics on the wall, which has been waiting to be done. And I did this while in my neck brace after having spinal surgery just 1 ½ wks ago! I also painted Angel’s paw print ornament from last year, which was fun for me. I like to be crafty, just don’t have time for it anymore.

Hannah was brought over by her father around 1 pm. It was hard to get out of her what she got from over there. All she mentioned was clothes and the Walking Kitty she asked Santa for. I asked her about the princess bike, which reminded her that she got that, too. HA!

She first attacked her stocking, digging as deep as it would go. Then she started under the tree. Every time she opened something really great, she would throw her hands up and scream with joy! Then she’d say, “Thank you, Mommy! You’re the best! Or she’d say the same to Santa. She’d come give me a big hug! This made it all worthwhile. The look on her face was priceless!!!

This was the X’s year to have Hannah for Christmas, and yet, he let me have her for the afternoon, then picked her up that night. I know he didn’t have to do that. I expressed my gratitude several times to him. His comment was, “I did it for Hannah.” Well, let’s make that clear! HA! He certainly wouldn’t do it for me. It doesn’t matter why he did it. It still shows that he thought of someone else over himself, unless of course he just wanted to take a nap that afternoon and wanted some peace. It really doesn’t matter, though. I gave up on trying to understand his motives a long time ago. I got to celebrate Christmas on the day, and that’s all that matters!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Alone On Christmas?

I've felt the depression bug, lately. I've had SOO much going on in my life all at once since Sept....nonstop. I started grad school, which was really hard by itself as a single mom! Then, I've had this 3 month battle trying to get my van back from a body shop, which has taken a lot of time, money and emotions. Now, I had this horrible spinal surgery right before Christmas, knowing I don't get my baby on Christmas day.

Let me just say, thank GOD for my mother!!!!!!! I would be a balling mess this week if she hadn't come to take care of everything. I really mean that. I was at some times, anyway. I've just been overwhelmed. The unknown is very difficult. My X also has been a jerk, but what's new.

My mom, though, has been here since last Friday. She came home right after I did from the hospital and agreed to stay until the day after Christmas, so I didn't have to be alone in this "state".

I'm unable to drive. Don't have a car, anyway. I would have to depend on others for groceries and would NOT have been able to have Hannah by myself all week, because I wouldn't have been able to take care of her. I can barely take care of myself! And I really wanted to spend this time with Hannah over the holiday even though I can't take her anywhere. Because of my mom, Hannah was with me all week, and spent some nights with her dad. Hannah helped my mom take care of sweet.

Anyway, I do know what it feels like to just want to give up! I have truly wanted to dig a hole to burry myself in. I needed an escape. And now, my photo printer broke. It's a $500 printer. I know that's not a necessity, but I'm a photographer and I do all my own printing at home. Photos are very important to legacy. It was just one more thing!

Ok, how about some good news! My lawyer picked up my van from the body shop and took it to a shop he trusts to get it looked over. That shop found some missed problems from the accident that still need to be fixed. I've had to put out about $5000 to get my van back! When I should have paid NOTHING out of pocket!

But just the fact that the van is out of the other body shop’s hands is SUCH a relief. We're suing them for $15000!!! I don't know if we'll win that much, but I sure hope to get my money back, at least. It'll be about a 6 mos fight, so this isn't over.

I will have Hannah Christmas afternoon, which I'm very thankful that he's allowing. My mom will leave Sun AM. I'm thankful for the small piece of Christmas I will get to spend with Hannah. I'm also thankful that my mom is here. YOU have no idea what that has meant to me! I will have to find a way to thank her properly, really. I don't know what I would have done without her.

These are the times where I miss having someone. Going through a surgery like this alone is not possible when you have a child...and pets, for that matter. But my mom stepped in to fill that void. Thanks, Mom!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Can I Find the Blessings in All This???

This is the time of year when families celebrate Christmas with time together, gifts, food, and fun. And yet, I just had spinal surgery and am stuck at home in a neck brace. I have stitches across the front of my neck that reminds me of Frankenstein!!! Thankfully, my mom was able to come at the last minute. I was under the impression that it wouldn’t be so bad, well, it IS! I am in a lot of pain, and seeing the terrifying wound just makes it worse. Yes, finals are done. That was a big load off. But I’m still left with a difficult recovery from this surgery and still have no car, since the body shop is trying to steal it. I’m in the process of suing them. Everything has gone wrong all at once, and at such a special time of the year. Can I find the blessings in this?

Besides all that, Hannah will spend Christmas with her father, who has NEVER cared about celebrating Christmas before. It’s MY holiday! I’m the one with all the traditions. She says she wants to be with me on Christmas, but he won’t let her. Therefore, I will be left in this mess alone on Christmas.

I keep hoping and praying that my life will get better. This has been a tough year! I was divorced. I dealt with Hannah’s emotional instability after having to meet her dad’s girlfriend. I had two surgeries in the past 3 months. I started Grad School full time. I got in a car accident, which left my car in the hands of crooks, who I’m having to sue to get my car back. That battle has gone on for 3 months.

I really do need a brighter year. I would love to see better days….days of peace. This is my prayer. I pray for a peaceful new year. I pray that my neck will feel better, pain free. I pray that I will have my van back and I will win the lawsuit against the body shop. I pray that the classes I take in the spring will not be too challenging, and that I will learn a lot.

I’m just exhausted. I need a break from my own life. I just need peace.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Best Predictor of Divorce

This facts below are something I learned in my Human Growth and Development class in grad school.  Sorry I haven't written in a while.  I have finals and am actually having spinal surgery next week.  In addition, I'm having to sue the body shop, who's had my van for 3 months, since my car accident.  They're refusing to finish and charging more than they promised....CROOKS!  Yes, my life has once again become complicated!!!  Satan must be threatened by me!!!  He's trying to get me down, but with God, I will prevail!!!

Best Predictor of Divorce:

• High level of negative affect reciprocity – likelihood that negative emotions in 1 will follow from the other’s negative emotions

• Negativity that predicts divorce

1. Criticism

2. Defensiveness

3. Contempt

4. Stonewalling

• Positivity – ratio should be 5:1, positivity: negativity

1. Humor interest

2. Affection

3. Validation

4. Ability to soothe angry or hurt feelings

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thankgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving this year seemed different, yet a blessing. My family unit is a little smaller this year. Where we once had 11 people at our table, we only had 5. Aren’t families supposed to grow over time? One natural decrease was my grandparents’ choosing not to travel anymore. For many years, they traveled down to Florida for Thanksgiving. It doesn’t seem the same without them, as they are 89 and 94 yrs old. But I understand that as people age, they have to give up certain luxuries. They were missed.

The other decrease was my sister’s family. Because of her divorce, not only was her ex-husband not here, but her 2 kids spent Thanksgiving with their step-mom and baby half-sister. So strange that even though their dad is deployed, they would still choose to spend the holiday with his wife.  Mind you, this is my sister's year to have them on Thanksgiving.  I guess you get to a time when they can choose for themselves where they want to be on holidays.  Then I am also divorced, which leaves out my X (which is NO LOSS!). So, that just leaves my parents, my sister, me and Hannah.

It just seems strange to not have as much chaos and mess. The house is so much more quiet. We didn’t cook as much food, with less mouths to feed. Instead of doing the typical Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, we prepared each trimming on different nights during my visit to my parents' house. Then on Thanksgiving day, we made it simple, just having lasagna, salad and garlic bread. Mom is a vegetarian.  On other nights we had mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole. I guess you can say, we celebrated Thanksgiving all week, so we had more time to eat all that food.

It’s strange to watch life change from year to year. Some things change for the better, and some for the worst. Who knows what next year holds. I dread the possibility of not being with Hannah Thanksgiving week, which is very possible, since we do every other year for holidays.

Other than food, we went to Uncle Donald’s Farm with my high school friends and their kids. We went to the Tree Farm to cut down my mom’s tree. My dad took Hannah to the playground, while I looked at Black Friday ads, which I made a killing on my day of shopping. My mom took Hannah to watch “Tangled” at the theater while I shopped. I started my shopping day at 2 am.  That's a first for me!  We visited with more high school friends on Sat. We visit First Baptist Eustis on Sunday, as I enjoy doing every year.

Another change this year is that I am in Grad School, which meant I had class on Mon. So, I didn’t get to come of Friday, as usual. So, I had to miss the annual parade and festival in Umatilla the Sat before Thanksgiving. This change is bittersweet, but it is only for a season. Life is full of surprises! I’m simply trying to make the best of it. Life is good!!! I am blessed….